How Much Does HiTrust Certification Cost in 2024?

Meeba Gracy

Meeba Gracy

Feb 10, 2024

HITRUST certification

One common question small and mid-sized businesses often ask when thinking about HITRUST certification is, “How much does it cost?” It’s a valid concern, especially with tight budgets and the critical importance of information security. HITRUST certification cost was too expensive for many small businesses. 

However, things are changing. New, more cost-effective options are available for small and medium-sized companies, allowing them to enhance their transparency, integrity, and reliability.

This article explores the possibilities of your HITRUST compliance for your organization and strengthening your security program. We’ll also talk about the HITRUST CSF certification cost and what you can do to become compliant without breaking the bank.

Let’s dive in…

Key takeaways
  • The size of your company directly impacts HITRUST certification costs, with larger organizations generally incurring higher expenses due to extensive infrastructure and processes
  • The MyCSF tool, available through HITRUST, offers a SaaS solution for risk assessments and corrective action plans
  • Breakdown of HITRUST certification costs based on variations (e1, i1, r2) and the associated number of controls

Overview of HITRUST Certification

Established in 2007, HITRUST grants certifications to businesses after independent assessments for compliance with its Common Security Framework (CSF). Certification is achieved when all required controls are fully implemented in the specified environment. 

HITRUST certification

The CSF, applicable to organizations handling sensitive data as part of regulatory requirements, integrates widely accepted standards like ISO, NIST, PCI, HIPAA, and COBIT into its baseline security requirements.

Debunking the Myth:

There’s a common misconception that HITRUST essentials is solely for healthcare industry or business associates. In reality, HITRUST CSF applies to any IT or financial organization sector, although its design leans toward healthcare as part of regulatory requirements.

HITRUST i1 

Introduced in 2022, i1 is a streamlined version of r2 certification featuring a wide range of controls. Unlike r2, i1 doesn’t require scoping as it follows a non-risk-based approach. i1 certification is valid for one year, and the entire process usually takes about 6-9 months.

Scoping Insight:

Scoping involves detailing the organization to finalize which controls need implementation in the assessment process. In a risk-based approach, cyber threats are identified, and controls are then implemented to mitigate those security risks.

Save upto 60% on HITRUST Certification costs

HITRUST r2 

With a risk-based approach, r2 requires scoping. Certification validity is two years; the implementation process usually spans 12-15 months.

The time it takes here is calculated based on doing every process manually, from gap analysis to risk assessment. This is where you need the help of a compliance automation platform like Sprinto.

Leave the stress and burnout behind when it comes to understanding regulatory standards. Sprinto has got you covered with pre-approved, auditor-grade compliance programs and security practices that you can launch with just a few clicks.

And when it comes to HITRUST assessment, Sprinto has you covered. Our audit experts collaborate with you from Day 1, guiding you through the process to ensure the right controls and practices are implemented for your company.

How Much Does HiTrust Certification Cost?

The total cost of HITRUST CSF certification falls between $70,000 and $160,000. This covers the validated assessment by an external assessor, the certification cost charged by HITRUST, and the MyCSF cost.

With that being said, here is a breakdown of the assessment charges based on the number of controls:

Hitrust variationNo. of controlsImplementation + Assessment timelinesAssessment Charges
e1 (basic)445-6 monthsUSD $10k
i1 (moderate)1825-6 monthsUSD $25.2k 
r2 (high)250-1800 (depends on scoping exercise)6-9 monthsUpto 250 controls – USD $25k From 251st control onwards – 50$ per control

Also note that you need budget for:

  • Access to HITRUST MyCSF® portal and resources (HITRUST mycsf cost is approximately $15,000 per year)
  • Readiness assessment execution and scoring
  • Gap analysis execution
  • Validated assessment execution and scoring

Indirect costs include:

  • Employee time for engagement
  • Recording and updating security data
  • Initial configuration
  • Development of corrective action plans
  • Remediation efforts
  • Assistance in identifying and submitting documentation
  • Additional services by HITRUST Authorized External Assessor

We know that the certification cost can seem expensive for service providers, and often organizations opt for getting themselves self-assessed to minimize costs that come with a trade-off – with a self-assessment, they don’t attain the same level of security assurance compared to ones that hire a third-party assessor. 

While self-assessments offer affordability, external assessors bring an added layer of expertise and objectivity to ensure a more robust evaluation of your security measures.

Also, check: A Quick Guide to HITRUST Certification

5 Factors Affecting HiTrust Certification Cost

HiTrust CSF cost certification is absolutely worth it. However, several external and internal factors determine how much you have to spend.

Below are the 5 factors you need to look out for when pursuing the certification report:

  • Your company size
  • HiTrust preparation
  • Purchase of MyCSF tool
  • Essentials assessment
  • Size of your infrastructure
HITRUST certification

1. Your company size

Your company’s size matters when it comes to HITRUST costs. Generally, larger organizations tend to incur higher expenses. 

Larger companies usually have more extensive infrastructure and processes to certify. With a bigger size, more controls apply to the organization.

For instance, if your company falls within the 250-1800 employee range (subject to scoping exercise), the cost could go up to $25k, as indicated in the table above.

2. HiTrust preparation

Preparing for HITRUST Certification involves several steps and costs. It’s advisable to start with a self-assessment or readiness assessment before submitting a validated assessment for certification. 

A self-assessment against CSF is done internally by your team, while a readiness assessment is usually conducted by an independent third party, which is again a cost. Both help you understand CSF requirements and identify control gaps to address before a validated assessment. 

Be cautious about potential pitfalls in self-assessment costs, including gap analysis.

To control costs, consider narrowing the scope of the HITRUST framework, i.e., by isolating the certifiable environment. This strategic approach can help minimize the expenses associated with obtaining certification.

3. Purchasing the MyCSF tool

To access the MyCSF tool, you can purchase a subscription, costing around $15,000 per year. This tool, available through HITRUST, provides a SaaS solution for conducting risk assessments and managing corrective action plans. 

Using the MyCSF tool can lead to resource savings, increased efficiency, better reporting and dashboards, streamlined assessment modeling, and the ability to share assessment information easily. The tool offers different subscription levels to cater to varying organizational needs.

4. Conducting essentials assessment

HITRUST Alliance introduced the HITRUST e1 Essentials assessment. This assessment is there to give clear assurances about how well your company handles basic cybersecurity practices and faces cyber threats.

Usually, you can do this in 2 ways. It can be either through self-assessment or validation by an external auditor.

It assesses information security controls across 44 areas, offering summary and details into the overall security posture of your company.

These assessments will definitely bring you direct and indirect HITRUST costs.

5. Size of your infrastructure

If your environment is small to start with, the HITRUST assessment will be more straightforward and cost-effective. Also, if you can separate the certifiable environment from a larger one, you may reduce costs.

Save hundreds of man-hours

How long does it take to get HITRUST certification?

Getting HiTrust Certification depends on the level of variation of HiTrust you choose and the assessment period. The e1 (basic) variation may take 5 to 6 months to complete, while r2 (high) may take 6 to 9 months to achieve.

Other factors that affect the duration of getting HiTrust Certification is:

  • The existing level of maturity in your information security program
  • The size and complexity of the systems that need certification impact how long the process takes
  • The resources at your disposal for implementing necessary HITRUST controls affect the certification timeline
  • The commitment and motivation of management to implement changes, along with the overall tone set at the top, also contribute to the certification duration

Do you need the HITRUST MyCSF Tool?

When it comes to using the HITRUST MyCSF tool for documenting your assessments, you have two options:

Purchase A CSF ReportSubscription
Access for the assessment (90 days)
Cost: $3k-6k
Pros: Less expensive
Cons: Limited access (90 days)
Full access year-round
Annual fee: $15k-50k
Pros: Continuous access
Cons: Higher cost upfront

Both options work, but each has its pros and cons. The first option is more budget-friendly but comes with a 90-day access limit. The subscription is pricier but may be worthwhile for ongoing HITRUST certification maintenance.

How can Sprinto simplify your HITRUST certification process?

Well, Sprinto takes on the tough parts of HITRUST compliance and audits, like handling access control, audit controls, integrity, and transmission security. 

It automates tasks such as least-privilege access, collecting audit evidence, and centralizing logging. This way, Sprinto helps simplify meeting your compliance requirements. It also secures sensitive information to reduce the risk of data exposure or loss.

For more detailed requirements, like antivirus measures, Sprinto ensures you’re covered by uploading necessary files and information, aligning with strict controls like those in PCI.

Interestingly, Sprinto comes with built-in monitoring and log collection, offering a transparent record of access and permissions. This helps in your compliance efforts and uncovers potential risks, supporting both formal and informal audits.

Talk to our HITRUST compliance experts to know more about HITRUST pricing and implementation!

FAQs

1. Is HITRUST only for healthcare organizations?

HITRUST CSF was Initially crafted for the healthcare sector. However, in 2019, HITRUST expanded its reach by making the CSF industry-agnostic. This means companies from any industry can now pursue HITRUST certification as the scope of applicability is broad now. 

2. Which HITRUST Assessment is right for me?

When deciding on the best HITRUST certification process for your HealthTech organization, consider these key factors. 

  • Assess any contractual obligations tied to maintaining HITRUST certification 
  • Evaluate the time available for completing and issuing the certification
  • Consider the complexity of your technology environment and the specific applications or environments you plan to certify
  • Determine how often you want to evaluate your organization’s compliance with HITRUST

3. What are the number of controls required for HITRUST Certification?

For r2 assessments, the typical range is 300-400 requirement statements, with 250 being the minimum. The e1 assessment has a fixed 44 requirements, while the i1 assessment includes 182. 

It’s important to note that not every individual requirement is mandatory for certification compliance. However, all requirements are evaluated and scored across the 19 domains in MyCSF.

Meeba Gracy

Meeba Gracy

Meeba, an ISC2-certified cybersecurity specialist, passionately decodes and delivers impactful content on compliance and complex digital security matters. Adept at transforming intricate concepts into accessible insights, she’s committed to enlightening readers. Off the clock, she can be found with her nose in the latest thriller novel or exploring new haunts in the city.

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